Business in Brief

Teva paid Boston Consulting $45 million for new strategic plan

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries paid $45 million to the Boston Consulting Group for its part in preparing the generic drug maker's new strategic plan. The five-year plan will be unveiled on December 11 and is expected to prescribe a more selective approach to the generic drug market and place less emphasis on increasing market share in Europe and the United States. Teva's new CEO, Jeremy Levin, gave a hint of the new strategy when he told a conference call a few days ago that Teva had decided to stop products that had low profit margins and where Teva's relative advantage was small. Other parts of the plan may include a more wary approach to acquisitions. (Yoram Gabison )

El Al is cutting back on its fleet: The airline grounded the last of its Boeing 757s yesterday and has already removed its Boeing 767-200s from service. El Al's 757s, which numbered 11 at one point, will be replaced by Boeing's newest 737 model, the 737-900ER. These planes will start arriving at the end of 2013. The 757s first saw service at El Al in the 1980s. The airline has ordered six of the new 737s, with an option for two more. The move is part of El Al's plan to upgrade and modernize its fleet. (Zohar Blumenkrantz )

More price hikes on the way: Diapers and feminine hygiene products

Procter & Gamble is raising prices on some of its products in Israel, P&G told its local distributor yesterday. Pampers disposable diapers will be 5.8% more expensive on average. Feminine hygiene products such as P&G's Always and Alldays will be about 6% more expensive. Gillette razors and blades will go up by 4% and deodorant by 4.5%. Oral B toothbrushes will cost 5% more. Some products will remain at the old prices such as Head & Shoulders shampoo - though some of these products became more expensive only last April. Most Israeli food- and consumer-product companies have raised prices in the past few weeks. They all blamed higher costs for raw materials, electricity, property tax and wages. The supermarket chains, which originally said they would hold prices down, followed the manufacturers and raised prices on various products. (Adi Dovrat-Meseritz )

Tourist hotel stays climbed 17% in October

Even though tourists have been canceling their trips and new reservations are at a standstill, in October, before Operation Pillar of Defense in the south, overnight hotel stays for tourists rose 17% compared to last year. All told, Israeli hotels booked some 1.1 million nights in October. The numbers for Israelis were similar to those for foreign tourists. The numbers for September were not as good, but this is blamed on the timing of the High Holy Days this year. Overall, there was a 5% rise in hotel stays in September and October compared to the same months last year. Hotel stays rose in all regions of the country last month, with a 21% jump in Eilat to 118,000 nights. In Jerusalem, the figures rose 25%. The first part of November, until the fighting n the south, was also very good for tourism and hotels. The bad news is that hoteliers expect at least a 20% drop in stays over the next few months, which will lead to NIS 500 million in lost revenues. (Rina Rozenberg )

Israel Corp. agrees to buy $4 billion of natural gas deal from Tamar field

The Israel Corporation will buy $3.9 billion of natural gas from Delek Drilling's Tamar offshore gas field. The companies announced yesterday they had finished signing the agreement, and the Israel Corp. will use the gas for powering its subsidiaries such as the Dead Sea Works, Oil Refineries and its OPC power station, which is nearing completion. Some $1.3 billion of the gas, some 5.8 billion cubic meters worth, will go to the Oil Refineries. The various subsidiaries will use the gas for different periods, ranging from only two years for Dead Sea Works to a 16-year deal for the OPC plant. (Itai Trilnick )